Optimus Drive gathered almost $18M in a new series of funding that saw investors growing significantly fond of this new technology. The investment was led by Greycroft Partners, with contributions from Emerson Collective, Fraser McCombs Capital, and MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito. The 2 year old startup has now raised a total of $23.25 million from investors across two funding rounds.
CEO and co-founder Ryan Chin says the 28-person company will invest the new money in hiring another 50 people or more, and expanding its fleet of five test vehicles to at least 25 vehicles next year. The goal is to grow the fleet to more than 100 test vehicles in the next two years, he adds.
Optimus is developing the “full stack” of autonomous vehicle software- meaning its software will handle mapping, controlling the vehicle, object detection and avoidance, coordinating vehicle fleets, and more. Like many companies in this sector, Optimus doesn’t make hardware; it partners with companies like NVIDIA, one of its investors and a supplier of graphics processing units, and automakers.